Photos by Joanna Dhanraj
Success was nearly not had in locating Good Success on the East Bank Demerara. Although a huge signboard wedged into the ground bears the name Good Success, many drivers do not know where it is. The trick is to ask to be taken to Craig; you’ll be dropped off in Good Success.
What was once Craig has been divided into two parts. The first section, as far as Busbee Dam is now called Good Success. Beyond that is Craig.
In naming this village, someone went to great lengths to ensure its positivity. Success on its own, it seems, was not good enough.
When the World Beyond Georgetown visited, Good Success seemed devoid of people, apart from the busy public road and a few guys gathered around a car parked on a government reserve. But just obliquely opposite, we found Alana Rampher, a shopkeeper, who moved from Company Path (Yarrow Dam), Georgetown to Good Success over 14 years ago after getting married.
Her little shop has just about everything except for alcoholic beverages and cigarettes. Two times a week, she travels to Georgetown to purchase stock. The Banks DIH truck would pass by during the week. Her son, Anthony Junior (AJ) keeps an eye on the shop for her to see when customers arrive and sonetimes to sell.
“The wash bay nearby is a nuisance but you have to abide by it,” she said, referring to the noise. This keeps them from hearing when customers call. Apart from the noise the wash bay also contributes to the flooding in the area.
“First when I had come it was hard; with the trucks passing on the road at one/two o’clock in the morning to go for sand. It used to affect me,” Rampher said. She has now grown accustomed to it.
“Houses develop more, more businesses, street lights and better road,” said the resident speaking of developments since her arrival.
Nonetheless not much has been done concerning drainage. “The NDC don’t do nothing for us. We have to keep the drains clean. A previous [official] from the NDC who was employed around two years ago used to see that it was cleaned but after he left the drains left like that,” she said. “We never had drainage problem like now.”
She adds, “Petty crime is a concern here especially with the youngsters.” Her little shop has been broken into a few times.
However, she maintains that Good Success is a place where anyone would want to live. “[It] is a lovely place and I think that anybody come here to live; they won’t want to live anywhere else. The hospitality here, you won’t find it anywhere else, especially with the Rampher family. Around here nobody does cuss and fight. I like the country atmosphere. From Craig we can see over to the West Bank. My children enjoy seeing the boats and other ships pass by,” she said. Another thing the family enjoys from the verandah is the sunset seen through the clearing.
Rampher said she wished there was a market, a wharf where fishermen can put out their catch to sell. “Last two years the [previous government] cleared the reserve and sand fill it. The children use it to fly kites,” she said.
Rampher, her family and other villagers enjoy fishing on the sea dam every now and again. “Many persons have already clean for the season. It only left to decorate now. If you come around the 20th [today] you will see the houses them decorate. Christmas, Phagwah, Diwali and Easter are big things here.”
The water and gas trucks provide door-to-door service.
Next, the World Beyond Georgetown met a charming and sweet Shahrini Chattersingh. The 78-year-old was born in Good Success and has spent most of her life there. Her parents who hail from the nearby village, Golden Grove, sold their home and moved to Good Success when the area was bush and mosquitoes. Minus the bush, there are still a lot of mosquitoes.
“I went to Grove Government School,” she said recalling her life. “My old lady tek in sick and I go up to fourth standard. I was 11/12. I does got to stay home and tek care of my mother. My brother had gone away, so only me use to help tek care of she. When I was 15 they married me to Victor Chattersingh [who was ten years her senior]. It was a pick/match wedding. I go away in town. I get three children in town and two born in Craig.”
She returned in the 1960s, before the death of her mother.
“Before we use to buy groceries from town but now we does patronize this shop,” Chattersingh said, referring to a nearby shop in her street. The street that runs between her house and other houses she said was once the East Bank Demerara public road and if there is an accident on the current road, vehicles sometimes divert through that street.
Chattersingh also bemoaned the drainage situation. “The NDC doesn’t clean. We had to clean it we self. I got to pay tax in January and still they don’t come and clean the place. In 2005 when it had the big flood water reach in the house and damage the furniture and the fridge,” she said.
Her son-in-law didn’t know what else he could do except to make holes in the house for the water to escape which only allowed more water in. The slippery steps caused both her and her daughter to fall and injure themselves. Since then they had raised the level of the bottom flat, which has helped somewhat with the flood situation.
It has also made cleaning the ceiling much easier, since they don’t have to climb anymore to reach it, but the yard still floods.
She spoke of a time when persons came together to make the village as spic and span as they could. “Fifteen to 16 years ago everybody used to come together and clean the drains, weed the grass and build bridges,” she said.
At the end of the cleanup, vouchers to redeem items like rice, sugar, peas, milk and flour were given to volunteers. The bridge that persons would have built joining Craig to Grove many years ago broke and no one sought to repair it.
Although a walk through Good Success revealed a village free of garbage, Chattersingh said garbage is another problem. The garbage in the drains is another reason for the drains flooding, she said, adding that whether the NDC cleans or not the residents should take it upon themselves since it’s for their benefit.
She too mentioned the wash bay as one of the reasons for the flooding since the water runs down to the back where she lives but maintained that drainage is the major issue. There were also complaints about the wash bay from three other persons who wished to remain anonymous.
Nevertheless, Chattersingh thinks of Good Success as a haven for persons who wish to enjoy a peaceful atmosphere.